Archive | Health and Wellness RSS feed for this section

When you gotta go… you gotta go!

23 Apr

Warning: This article deals directly with poop. No sugar-coating it, guys.

We all do it. Like… daily. It’s a basic bodily function that we shouldn’t have to be embarrassed about. And yet, we still are… Especially as Women. Nine times out of ten, we’re able to be discreet when it comes to relieving ourselves and yet, we have all been in more than one situation where you can’t help it – you gotta go – but it couldn’t be at a worse time. Here are, in my opinion, the top 5 times you wish you could just hold.it.in.

 

5. It’s the middle of the afternoon, and a particularly heavy lunch at Shake Shack has finally hit you. So you scamper off to the restroom and settle in. But just as you’re about to #LetItGo, you hear the main door swush open. And you’re left in a terrible predicament. You’re the only other person in the bathroom, so obviously you can’t place blame on anyone else. So you wait, and wait, and pray you can hold it in, as the Princess takes her good ol’ time fixing her hair and using the actual dryer instead of paper towels… all the while making a mental note for next time to use the bathroom two floors down so that there’s a much lower chance of someone recognizing you when this happens again…

4. Drunk poops are literally the worst. The happy hour celebration for your co-worker’s promotion that ended in another round of shots means that they will be sneaking up on you, often, over the course of the next 24 hours. You find yourself waiting in line at Starbucks the next morning and suddenly you literally cannot do anything else but think about the nearest public restroom location. You not only lose your place in line, but you become that person who has to beg for the store’s key to their single occupancy bathroom that has clearly not been cleaned in 2 weeks and is likely out of toilet paper.

3. Weddings. And not just as the bride – that’s an entirely different ballgame. I no longer have the opportunity to wear fancy cocktail dresses/gowns to formal events like I did back in school. And God knows I’m not important enough to be invited to Galas in DC (but here’s to hoping!). So I take full advantage of dressing up for weddings. And nothing kills my wedding spirit quite like figuring out how to gracefully take a dump surrounded by college friends and the bride’s grandma, while wearing a dress that is way too tight around the butt and impossible to lift properly in order to sit down.

2. Road trips. I mean do I really need to say more? Speaking as someone who spent the last 3 weekends traveling 4.5 hours to and from my hometown, I can lay claim to how awful it is to be 2 miles past the last rest stop when all of a sudden, you feel the panic of having to go. You see the next rest stop is in 28 miles. 28 MILES??? WAIT… THERE’S AN ACCIDENT UP AHEAD??? Who the hell decided to get in a car crash in the middle of the highway NOW??? It becomes physically painful at that point…

1. 6:19am. Bro’s house. He chose you over Obamacare last night, and things swiftly transitioned from watching a sex scene in Game of Thrones, to your own version of it in bed… But that morning after “borrowing” some of his Listerine, and properly putting the toilet seat down where it should be, you suddenly remember how thin his walls are and the completely inconvenient location of his bathroom – approximately 8 feet from his headboard. At that point all you can do is pray that he is a deep sleeper… or just run for the metro. (We recommend the latter option.)

 

Is there anything one can do to counteract these embarrassing, inconvenient situations? Well, I do have one solution that I think is hilarious, and yet, somewhat effective (at least for the stinky part). Poo pourri. Watch the commercial, you will die. If nothing else, it’s small and portable – easy to keep in your purse – and keeps you feelin’ like a lady.

Other than that ladies, shit happens. And we gotta deal.

B.

 

 

The Treat Yo Self Guide to Cooking on a Budget

13 Feb

One of my 2014 goals has been to cook more, in order to eat healthier, practice the skill of making edible food for the human beings who may someday depend on me for it, and – of course – save money. On that last one, I’ve found that the trick may actually be somewhat counterintuitive. Rather than forcing yourself into annoying and unnecessary austerity measures, you can save surprising amounts of money by actually being a little bit more extravagant when it comes to grocery shopping and cooking. 

In other words, TREAT YO SELF!

Allow me to explain how this can work.

1. Buy a lot of shit, part 1: I always feel like I’m outsmarting the system when I see something that’s $2 for 5, or something and I don’t fall for the deal. I’m like, “whatever I’m never going to eat two hunks of cheese so I’m actually saving myself $2.50 instead of 30 cents. TAKE THAT, MARKETING PLOY!” But in reality, falling for those deals and filling up your grocery cart with a bit more can definitely save you money if you are smart about freezing things. Bread products are especially great with this, I find – I’ll buy a big thing of mini-bagels from Whole Foods, freeze them, and roll them out 3 or 5 at a time so that I can eat one for breakfast several days in a row. 

This is essentially just buying in bulk. Obviously it’s a thing. But the reason it’s especially good for young people who are tempted to eat out all the time is because I think it can get exhausting “trying” to finish all your groceries before they go bad. You feel like you’re racing against the mold clock and you experience a backlash and you eat out 4 days in a row. Freezing some of what you buy can take off that pressure.

2. Buy a lot of shit, part 2: The other obstacle to regular cooking – and therefore, enticement to eat out – is not having things on hand when you make a last-minute decision to make dinner. So the smart – yet counterintuitive – thing to do is to buy extra food that you don’t plan on cooking that week, because that rushed grocery trip always fucks up the schedule and it becomes easier just to order in. Even though I can be super cheap at the grocery store, I’m trying to make it a habit to throw down a few extra dollars for a 2nd box of pasta or quinoa just so that I have it as a backup. 

3. It’s okay to be a lazy ass! No one expects you to reinvent the wheel. Sure, it’s better to whip up everything from scratch, but it’s probably better to milk your own cows too and that sure as hell isn’t happening. Don’t feel like you aren’t allowed to buy frozen food, mixes, pre-seasoned items, etc. It’s okay! You’re still saving money, and keeping yourself sane, too.

4.Wine on and shine on. No really! If the food didn’t come out well, or you just kind of wish you were at Chipotle, or you’re sad to be eating alone, or whatever, pouring a glass of wine can help you  feel like you’re not just eating the evening/weekend version of a sad desk lunch.

5. Treat yourself to a good time! This may be the most important (or at least it feels kinda deep and important): treat cooking as a fun activity rather than a chore! I’ve come to enjoy it, scheduling it into my day day as a way to decompress. It’s also, frankly, a more constructive way to kill time than watching TV. If you enjoy cooking – even if you’re not great at it – you’ll start to look forward to eating at home, rather than seeing it as some sort of New Years’ resolution-imposed punishment. 

Happy cooking!

The Skinny on Being Normal

29 Jan

By now, most of you have heard of Aerie’s campaign to use “Normal” girls as their underwear models. These girls’ bodies are not photoshopped and shown just as they are naturally. The standard praise and typical backlash has thus followed over the past few weeks. My opinion? Great marketing, bro!! I think it’s smart to show girls how bras will fit them based on the size they actually are, and not just how the model looks wearing it.

I’m not writing to discuss the pros and cons of using plus sized vs normal sized vs thin sized models in advertisements. They each have their place. I believe it is society’s job to give every girl the self-confidence they need to appreciate a healthy body type – wherever that may fall. However, something I saw on facebook troubled me a little bit.

My cousin, who yes, is quite overweight, and is not aware that I’m writing this, or even that I have a blog, posted the following status: “I think it’s great and all having models that are not stick thin, but please stop calling them “Plus Sized”. I haven’t seen one that is above a size 12. The average size in America is a 16. So, really, it’s just “Normal Sized”. Which, is great! But I think “Plus Sized Model” should start where they do in stores-a size 20.”

First thoughts? I somewhat agree. A size 8 (or whatever) model shouldn’t be considered “Plus” because that is generally a perfectly healthy body type. People don’t look at you as a “size”, they look at you as a person. But even so, studies have shown that a size 16 is not necessarily a “healthy” average to be at. (Yes, I do understand that it depends on the individual.) But on top of this, I was more-so bothered by a comment she later posted on this status: “It’s very disappointing and I don’t want anyone growing up in this. It’s just getting worse AND FAKER. Which is ridiculous because we’re getting bigger.”

This is where I really started disagreeing. I don’t like “excuses” when it comes to how you look. Sure, there are cases where you simply can’t help gaining and losing some weight. But most of us have control over what we put into our bodies and how active we choose to be. Since coming to DC, I’ve noticed that I have become less healthy. As a result, I’m trying to be pro-active by living a better lifestyle. So don’t for a second think I will use the excuse of what’s “normal” to justify increasingly tighter pants…

We live in a world where there is fat shaming, unrealistic role-models, and low self-esteem. And let me be clear… I am NOT promoting any of that. However, we also live in a world where “average” can be synonymous with overweight. Did you know that women’s waistlines have grown 6 inches over the past 60 years? People assume that this new normal is not a cause for concern. Just because those around them are heavier, that must mean it’s okay for them too. Shouldn’t we start changing this mindset?

Because we’re getting bigger”… This downright bothers me. I’m not ignorant to the growing obesity rate (especially among children) in this country. And the excuse “because we’re getting bigger” is at least partially to blame. I’m not saying you can’t eat a bag of M&M’s, a Twix, and a German Chocolate Brownie one afternoon, because Hi, I just did! But know your body’s limits! I can snack like a champion, and I love binge eating cheese, but I am also quite aware of the benefits of an active lifestyle and healthy foods. You shouldn’t wake up one day, realize you’re 10 lbs heavier, sigh and say,”No big deal! I’m still below the average size!”

I love confidence. I love that women have increasing confidence in their bodies. But there is a line that we are treading dangerously close to crossing. Beauty encompasses all shapes, sizes, and looks – and everything in between. And every girl, no matter what size dress they wear, should feel that they are beautiful – Because they ARE. But it is integral to promote a healthy lifestyle to all of these beautiful women. This need far exceeds just “looking good”. The whole reason this topic has me fired up is not because I feel we should be cookie-cutter people – it’s because I want us to live longer, and healthier. When we promote health (not looks), we can also start cutting back on heart problems, diabetes, cholesterol, etc. There is such a thing as being “too fat”, just like there is such a thing as being “too skinny”, and each come with their own line of problems. Most importantly, there is a thing called self-control. And I think America needs to start remembering that.

America is getting bigger. We’re getting more and more unhealthy. And the excuse that this is the new normal is only going to make matters worse. I’m not saying we should all look like models, or professional athletes… But we should be more aware of what is happening around us. We need to promote a different kind of normal: Simply put, a healthy one – which will bring so much more life and confidence to girls. Because what can be more beautiful than that?